For Coleytown Company, The Show Must Go On. And Boy, Did It!

First, Coleytown Middle School’s Company lost their stage.

Then they lost their lead.

But the show must go on. This weekend, it did.

Big time.

With great cooperation from Bedford — where Westport’s 2 middle schools now share space, following the closure of CMS last fall due to mold — Coleytown Company was deep in rehearsals for “42nd Street.”

Andrew Maskoff (tie) with (front row, left to right) Drew Andrade, Melody Stanger, Anna Diorio. Rear: Lucy Docktor, Jordyn Goldshore, Kathryn Asiel and Demitra Pantzos. (Photo/Colleen Coffey)

On Tuesday, director Ben Frimmer learned that Andrew Maskoff — the 6th grade lead — had to go on vocal rest. He could not talk or sing until the show.

Frimmer was determined to get him on stage. In the meantime, he needed a fill-in for rehearsals — and the possibility that Andrew could not perform at all.

There were 3 possibilities.  Frimmer could recruit his son Jonah — a 7th grader in Weston who has done 3 Equity productions. He could go on himself. Or he could ask a Staples High student to step in.

Frimmer chose the third. He called Staples Players director David Roth, who suggested Max Herman. The senior had just completed a fantastic run in “Curtains.”

Frimmer knew Max well. They’d worked together on 3 CMS shows.

The director called him at 1 p.m. An hour later, Max was at Bedford rehearsing.

He rehearsed all week — including following behind Andrew, who walked him through the blocking.

Andrew Maskoff (center) helps Max Herman with his blocking. (Photo/Colleen Coffey)

Andrew went on Friday night. But it was clear that 2 more shows would be too much. Max took the stage Saturday, so Andrew could close out the run on Sunday.

“I have never seen a student make as mature a decision as Andrew,” Frimmer says.

Having survived Saturday night, the cast was excited yesterday to have everyone back on stage.

Suddenly — just 30 minutes before the curtain rose — another supporting lead was struck with a migraine.

Staples freshman Nina Driscoll — another Coleytown Company alum who had served as assistant director — immediately offered to step in.

In just half an hour Frimmer and his assistants ran her through her songs and dances, and highlighted her script. Ten minutes before showtime, she announced she was off book — she knew the script — and was ready to go.

Nina Driscoll (3rd from left) with (from left) Sacha Maidique, Callum Madigan and Maggie Teed.

That’s show business.

And that’s why Westport loves Ben Frimmer, Staples Players — and especially Coleytown Company.

(Hat tips: Tami Benanav and Nick Sadler)

Drew Andrade dances, accompanied by (from left) Eliza Walmark, Rima Ferrer, Emma Schorr. Cece Dioyka, Drew Andrade, Ava Chun, Kathryn Asiel, Keelagh Breslin. (Photo/Colleen Coffey)

“42nd Street” dancers (from left) Vivian Shamie, Kathryn Asiel and Demitra Pantzos. (Photo/Colleen Coffey)

7 responses to “For Coleytown Company, The Show Must Go On. And Boy, Did It!

  1. Janette Kinnally

    What an amazing show. It was such perfect timing to have a show like this to bring the parents and the community together (after a rough year for the middle schools – one closing and two schools having to absorb the students), Coleytown Company under the direction of Ben Frimmer was a huge success.
    The kids came together over the last several months and worked closely together and by the time the curtain closed, everyone felt like family again! My son will never forget his experience being part of this show. Congratulations to everyone that worked so hard on this production and gave their heart to this play. Well done!

  2. Candace Banks

    It was truly outstanding! I enjoyed every single scene. Hats off to the kids and directors. And seeing the parents’ faces beaming in the audience- that was fabulous too. A great Sunday afternoon. 🙂

  3. Cherie Quain

    Wow Amazing story.

    Apropos theatre— Do you know if Staples offers headphones as hearing assists? ‘People want to know’

    xc Sent from my iPhone


    • Thanks, Cherie. As for headphones: Not sure. Let me check!

      • I just checked. Right now Players do not offer those. It’s part of the infrastructure of the school — because it relates to all auditorium events — and would need to be budgeted by the Board of Ed.

  4. Marina Evenstein

    It was a true team effort! As a mom of this 11 yo boy (with vocal nodes diagnosed on Tuesday am by ENT) – Andrew Maskoff – I am immensely grateful to these amazing Staples Players for jumping in and helping out to produce this spectacular show. My son will treasure this experience for a long long time. Kudos to the whole team, Mr Frimmer and Tami Benanav (producer) and our costume team headed by Christie Stanger. It was an unforgettable show. PS: two girls names spelled wrong under the first pic:
    Anna Diorio and Lucy Dockter